By Analiese Paik
Each year I try to change things up a big at holiday time, serving new foods and wines, while holding onto a few favorites. The same goes for stocking stuffers. While the tradition in our house is to fill each felt stocking hanging over the fireplace with really special chocolates, they’re never the same from year to year.
I began my research many months ago and found two new chocolate companies to love. Moo Chocolate, a maker of organic, whole milk chocolate bars flavored with whole grains, was started by Jackie Ekholm of Greenwich according to a story in the July issue of Serendipity magazine (read it here). Both organic and local? Too special to pass up.
The adorable packaging and milk chocolate formulation is clearly geared towards children. I found a good selection of their bars at Whole Foods Market and purchased two labeled USDA Organic, one with rice crisps and the second with corn flakes. Moo Chocolate bars made with graham crackers and granola are labeled “made with organic chocolate”, not USDA Organic. A quick search using the company’s online store finder revealed that the bars are widely available at local stores including Caraluzzi’s, Fairway, Aux Delices, Palmer’s, Rowayton Market and Wilton Village Market.
At Halloween I discovered a new candy company from California, OCHO, that makes organic versions of traditional candy bars. The website describes the founders as two very successful entrepreneurs, including the “creator of the 365 line at Whole Foods”, Denis Ring. Well thanks guys for filling a gaping hole in the market for organic candy bars, and especially for selling them in bulk packages. During an in-store tasting this week at Whole Foods Market Fairfield, I discovered that OCHO had released mini bars of peppermint creme covered in dark chocolate for Christmas. They are quite delicious and will appeal equally well to adults and children, so go ahead and stuff all your stockings.